STALEMATE

By William Markiewicz

Stalemate in Libya, stalemate in Afghanistan, stalemates . It always happens when the Western White Man takes the burden of the world on his shoulders. It didn't work and probably never will. We've had hundreds of years to learn the truth. Why try again and again? Quick solutions probably don't exist. The painful interior struggle for freedom must prevail everywhere. Even in Tunis where success seemed to come fairly fast, things must not be going well, otherwise there would not be that mass exodus to Europe. At the beginning of the revolt in Libya, the rebels were right to say, "We don't want American intervention; we don't want them to grab our revolution." They were right until they discovered that Gadaffi is stronger than expected. Now they must negotiate for Western help and, unavoidably, the West will set its own conditions which will surely spoil 'their' revolution. Ideal remedies don't exist. Good dictatorships don't exist. The economic situation in Gadaffi's Libya was not bad for the population. Obviously for the cultivated population, freedom is the most important element. Even Singapore, with iron discipline, seems like a well organized boarding school. People choke under iron discipline where punishment is harder than the crime. The present mass revolt in Arab countries is not the fruit of Western plots with their everlasting hunger for oil; this explanation is too simple. People always try and MUST finally win. From this, all the rest may come, but in a good way.

To get freedom, the first requirement is freedom of speech. As long as this is not in place, tyranny will prevail. All democracies in the West are based on freedom of the press. We know how this free press can be perverted but as long as shimmering light of freedom of the press persists, the fight is not over. Freedom can have other ideologies than itself; in dogmas and in ideologies, freedom doesn't exist; you have to fit. Freedom must remain freedom. For instance, with some 'velvety' religions, as in Iran where women can uncover their face and hold important positions, religious dogma now finds other victims -- dogs. Having pets is now illegal because, apparently, Mohammed didn't like them. Previously, militants in Iraq forbade street vendors to sell falafel because it didn't exist in the time of Mohammed (!). Guns and cannons didn't exist either but that doesn't keep the ultra religious militants from using them. What will the next victims be after the dogs? They cannot exile women because who will bear their children and cook and clean for them? So, freedom, just free freedom, must slowly but unavoidably take place everywhere. Can an international, universal union for freedom exist? I don't know. We've seen only timid examples up to now, like diplomatic sanctions it cannot go further. Even the most well intentioned gun holders become power holding tyrants. Help as you can but not by spilling blood. This is what I wish for all of us.

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